Our high-flying tenor, Phil Merkel, is a retired Air Force pilot who is comfortable singing all the "high" notes in our quartet. As Phil puts it, "It takes a real man to sing like a girl." Phil is also our instrumentalist, faithfully playing the pitch pipe to make sure we "take off" in the right key. That one note is critical for a successful flight!
Our low notes, the foundation of any barbershop quartet, come from Ray LaTurno, a retired Naval Aviator. Although he flew above the waves and not below them, singing low notes comes naturally for him. So, "anchors away" for this quartet's "anchor!"
Cliff Shoemaker provides the quartet "spice" and "Barbershop 7ths" as he sings the baritone (bari) part. Often scissoring with the lead, he goes up when the lead goes down and vice versa. Although he didn't "retire" from the Marine Corps, he did spend four years on active duty and a number of years in the reserves, and he reminds us that, "Once a Marine, always a Marine!" Semper Fi!
Born in Hawaii, Clarence Holokai is the lead in our quartet, adding his beautiful voice to the melody in our songs. having retired from the Army, he also completes our representation of four branches of the military, but we also salute the National Guard, the Coast Guard, and the Space Force, and of course all of this great country's men and women who serve in many capacities.